The celebration for TAG Heuer’s 160th anniversary continues with the release of four Carrera chronographs that capture the iconic DNA of the original model but in a contemporary light. Unlike the limited, vintage-inspired editions – the handsome Silver Carrera 160 Years and Carrera Montreal – these new Carrera Sport Chronograph 44mm will form part of the permanent collection and run on modern Heuer 02 chronograph movements as representatives of the avant-garde side of the brand. Let’s have a look at TAG’s new flagship Carrera models.
Recovering the essence of the racing Chronograph for 2020, with the new 44mm Sport models.
The story behind the Carrera forms part of watchmaking lore. With its name inspired by the perilous Carrera Panamericana race and a clean, legible design to time car races and calculate speeds, Jack Heuer’s 1963 Carrera is the stuff of legend. If you would like to find out all about the Carrera, don’t miss our video and article tracing its evolution.
Those of you who pine for the original Carrera will find solace in the TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver, just about as close as you can get to the 1963 model, complete with an upgraded Heuer 02 engine. However, not everybody will be able to get their hands on one of the 1,860 pieces of this limited edition and not everybody wants a retro-style watch. A couple of years ago, the Carrera chronograph was revisited in a hyper-modern technical skeletonised version with the Heuer 01 movement inside. Today, this non-skeletonised, non-vintage quartet marks the new roadmap for the Carrera chronograph with a second launch slated for September.
Paving the way
The four models that form the 2020 TAG Heuer Carrera Sport Chronograph Collection exude a sporty, virile vibe without losing the quintessential Carrera traits. All four models come in 44m stainless steel cases with different dial/bezel combinations: black dial/black ceramic bezel; blue dial/blue ceramic bezel; green dial/steel bezel; and black and gold dial/black and gold bezel.
The iconic Carrera lugs have been shortened on this new Sport Chronographs to enhance comfort and the alternating polished and brushed finishes give the watch a slimmer profile. Like the original Carrera, the lugs are faceted, the pushers are pump or piston-style and the crown is unprotected. Underscoring its sporty chronograph vibe, the indented area of the pushers and crown is picked out in black. Even with a sapphire crystal caseback and an unprotected crown, the chronograph is water-resistant to 100 metres.
The sleek ceramic inlay of the tachymetre bezel, featured in three of the models, is fixed. To attenuate the dimensions of the bezel and enhance legibility, it has a bevelled edge where the markers corresponding to the tachymetre scale are relayed; it’s much easier to consult the readings at this angle.
The standout model of this inaugural collection is the black and rose gold Carrera. Its black ceramic bezel is filled with rose gold-coloured lacquer – a first for the brand – and the crown and pushers are made from solid 18k rose gold. It is also the only model that comes on a classic black leather strap; the other three are fitted with sporty integrated steel bracelets.
The layout of the dial is faithful to the 1963 Carrera with an inner 60min/60sec track, faceted applied markers, baton hands and a tri-compax layout. The circular-brushed background of the dial hosts the three registers for the chronograph functions and small seconds. With their snailed (azurage) interiors, the sub-dial at 3 o’clock corresponds to 30-min elapsed times, the 12-hour elapsed times are at 9 o’clock and at 6 o’clock you’ll find the small seconds and a date window with a white background. The hour indices are rhodium-plated and treated with white Super-LumiNova as are the hour and minute hands which also feature a touch of black lacquer at their base.
Calibre Heuer 02
The performance-driven Heuer 02, TAG Heuer’s in-house chronograph movement appeared in 2017, boasting a thinner movement and an increased power reserve over the Heuer 01 movement of 2009. A modern calibre with integrated architecture, Heuer 02 has a column wheel and a vertical clutch, a combination that ensures a smooth and accurate run of the chronograph. Beating at a 4Hz frequency, it can store up to 80 hours of power. Another advantage over the Heuer 01 is the more elegant and legible 3-6-9 layout of the counters. The movement can be seen through the sapphire glass with its openworked rotor coated in dark grey.
Availability and price
As mentioned, the three stainless steel models are fitted with an integrated steel bracelet that is thinner and lighter, and closed with a steel folding clasp with double safety push-buttons. The steel-and-gold version comes with a dressier black alligator strap and a steel folding clasp. All TAG Heuer Carrera Sport Chronograph 44mm in steel – blue, black and green dial – will retail for CHF 5,600, while the steel and rose gold model for CHF 6,400. All four models will be available from July 2020.
For more information and orders on the online boutique, please visit tagheuer.com.